A new contingent of Lithuanian military will begin the standby in the NATO Response Force (NRF) on 1 January 2014, the Ministry of National Defence has informed.
Approximately 100 Lithuanian military will be committed in 2014 to the high readiness NATO force capable of deploying wherever required worldwide on short notice and to complete a wide spectrum of operations.The core of the new rotation will be formed by the personnel of the Vytenis General Support Logistic Battalion and the Logistics Command. The year-long standby has begun on 1 January.The Lithuanian Navy will also enter standby for the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One (SNMCMG1) in the second semester of 2014. The unit will be led by Commander Giedrius Premeneckas (Lithuanian Navy). Lithuania will also assign for SNMCMG1 the Command and Supply vessel Jotvingis and staff officers who will then serve as the backbone of the multinational staff.Other countries to man the SNMCMG1 staff alongside Lithuania are Estonia, Latvia and Turkey. Mine countermeasures vessels to the unit are expected to be assigned by Belgium, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany.In 2013 approximately 200 military from the Lithuanian Air Force, Juozas Vitkus Engineer and the Lithuanian Grand Duke Algirdas Motorised Infantry Battalions, and the Lithuanian Special Operations Forces conducted standby for the NRF.When on standby for the NATO Response Force units maintain readiness at their home bases and are capable of deploying to the area of operation in case of necessity within a designated period of time.The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational NATO force manned by NATO member states on a rotational basis.NRF is composed of military units assigned by NATO member states which conduct high readiness standby in their permanent deployment locations and maintain readiness to deploy into the area of operations within a designated period of time in case a decision to activate the NRF was made. In such case the NRF rotation of standby would be able to deploy into the area of operations within five days. Political authorisation to use the NATO Response Force, formed from land, air, maritime and special forces components, is given by the North Atlantic Council.As NATO gradually winds down the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operation in Afghanistan, the NRF is crucial for maintaining NATO forces interoperable.The NATO Response Force (NRF) is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational NATO force formed from land, air, maritime, logistic and special forces components, capable of deploying and completing operations wherever and whenever needed. The force (up to 25 thousand-strong) is self-sustainable and capable of completing missions encompassing a wide spectrum of operations worldwide.The NATO Response Force initiative was announced at the Prague Summit in November 2002. The decision to use the NRF is made by the North Atlantic Council. The NRF was invoked for the first time to ensure security during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.In October 2005 Lithuania was also a part of the first NRF operation where elements of the NATO Response Force were used for helping Pakistan recover after a devastating earthquake. Then Lithuania contributed a Water Purification Unit of the Vytenis General Support Battalion to the humanitarian effort.Lithuania has been committing military personnel for the NRF since 2005.